Experts say that after a while you begin to look like your dog. I don’t doubt it, but I also propose that any particular pet will begin to mimic the personality of the person most responsible for ‘raising’ them. I use as evidence our youngest cat, Minion. As in Evil Minion. As in raised by my son.
I call the cat Min because I don’t like thinking that my son is capable of instilling such snarkiness and mischief into an animal. I’m only kidding myself. Reflecting on what my son is capable of, this is mild. I should be happy. It could be a lot worse.
My middle son brought home this kitten under suspicious circumstances. He told us that he found the little thing – pitiful, cold and hungry – in a box in the park and that he and his friends were ‘saving’ the creatures from a certain life of misery by bringing them home to warm and loving families. My son thinks we believed him. My son thinks that I saw this clean, fat and friendly cat that was slung over his shoulder just watching the vein on my husband’s neck pulse with only mild curiosity (he must have known he’d be seeing that vein a lot!) and believed this cockamamie story. He thinks I thrive on bullshit. Not so.
But let me back up and set the stage for you. My husband and I were enjoying a warm evening in our back yard. Our new pond was sparkling, the fishies were swimming around entertaining me and the beautiful waterfall that I built mostly myself was providing a calming symphony of gurgles and splashes. I had wine; he had beer. We’d eaten well and we are in love. So far, it’s idyllic. And then, as he has done since he was born, enter middle son.
My husband spotted him first coming through the back alley into the yard with what could have been a carcass over his shoulder. But we couldn’t have been so lucky. It was alive. My husband’s first reaction was “oh hell no” and I couldn’t blame him. We had three dogs, a cat and a lizard. We had fishies. We had more than enough. My son didn’t think so.
I am embarrassed to admit that I was no help to my husband. Oh, I did put out a half-hearted offer on Facebook to anyone who wanted to adopt Min; but it was a feeble attempt at best. So Minion the Evil moved in that night.
Min is my son cloned. He’s whiny, bitchy and cynical. He’s lazy and was nearly impossible to litter box train. He does what he wants, when he wants. In the 20 years I’ve had a cat, this is the first time I’ve ever had claw marks on furniture. As in my couch and my 100 year old family heirloom library table. He assumes that we live to serve him and that we hang on his every screech, meow or purr and find it charming. He’s easily aggravated and quick to let you know. He is my son.
This has not gone unnoticed by my son either. One evening, as he was on the recliner, Min tucked between his legs bitching about one thing or the other, my son commented on what a pain in the ass the cat was. I replied that the cat acted just like him. My son scooped the cat up and jostled it a little, eliciting a screechy-growly type of noise out of it. “Yep,” my son said “and if I can do this to a cat, is it any wonder why I never want to have kids?” Well put my son, well put.